A missile strike by a US drone hit a house in Ghundai, a village 20 km east of Miramshah in Pakistan’s North Waziristan province today, killing at least nine people. It is the second US air strike in the province in less than a week, as a strike on Friday evening killed at least 21 people.
Today’s strike targeted the home of Maulvi Sahar Gul, who is said to be affiliated with the tribal fighters which signed a peace treaty with Pakistan in February. Five of those killed were reported to be civilians, with another four “suspected foreign militants.”
Area mosques issued loudspeaker calls asking for help to retrieve an unknown number of injured people from the debris. One unnamed witness, described only as a “tribal militant” said the death toll could rise as there may still be people trapped under the roof.
Pakistani helicopters were in the area, but villagers say they did not fire on the drones. Last month, US and Pakistani ground troops traded fire for about five minutes across the border near the site of today’s strike. Pakistan has warned the US several times about launching strikes on its territory, but Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has insisted that the strikes will continue.